Don’t get me wrong…I know that a lot of people have VERY big hearts and a strong, passionate desire to help dogs, cats and a multitude of other animals and I often applaud them for their efforts.
But, there comes a time when we need to look at some situations and really wonder if these folks should have been involved with “rescuing” animals in the first place!!
Today, two stories have come across my desk that elaborate on what I am trying to say. First, in Oakland, CA, a woman is upset because animal control officials there raided her home last Oct and removed 93 cats and 2 dogs. She claims that many of the seized animals were her personal pets and she had things “mostly under control”.
All of these animals, and this woman, lived in a 1500 sq ft home. Let that sink if for a minute…almost 100 cats in a home that was probably 6-7 rooms at most.
Oakland animal control officials euthanized 16 of the cats immediately and placed the other 77 up for adoption. They are quoted as saying that most of the cats were emaciated, suffered from diarrhea and had severe parasite infestations.
Then, while I was still processing the story and trying to imagine the overwhelming stench of ammonia that likely has settled into her home, another story was sent to me from a Veterinary News Network member in Iowa. A Tennessee Drug Task force stopped a UHaul truck pulling a mini-van. Inside, troopers found more than 120 dogs (and 1 cat) that were evidently being transported from Long Beach, CA to Virginia. The rescue group, Hearst for Hounds, was evidently moving their base of operations all the way across North America. One dog was found deceased and police report that many of the others were in “deplorable conditions”.
Just so you know, the American Association of Shelter Veterinarians has published guidelines for all aspects of sheltering animals, include how best to transport them. NOT INCLUDED in this document is allowing multiple animals to be loose inside the towed mini van OR having animals loose inside the cargo area of a UHaul truck!!
Look, many of us really want to help animals and it’s hard to say no to “just one more”…but let’s do ourselves, and the animals, a favor. If you see someone you know getting themselves in a situation like either of these two, plan an intervention!!
And again, you will see this often in my blogs, if you want to HELP animals, make sure you have a good relationship with a veterinarian and ask his or her advice on environmental conditions, transport requirements or anything related to the health of the pets.
Let’s hear your stories about animal rescue situations gone wrong….
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